- Explore the development of money through time with the free exhibitions that spread across five permanent galleries at the Bank of England Museum.
- Keep an eye out for the interesting temporary exhibitions that take place regularly in the museum.
- Book a seat in one of the daily presentations to further your learning.
If you’re looking to bring the kids on an unusual yet educational day out, look no further than the Bank of England Museum. Located inside the Bank of England building, the museum opened to the public in 1988 to give access to the amazing wealth of knowledge stored in the building. This is one of the best free museums in London for a family excursion. With five interactive galleries, amazing temporary exhibitions as well as interesting presentations and talks, accounting has never been so fun! It makes for a brilliant day out that children and parents alike will enjoy and learn from.
The permanent galleries within the museum give the viewer a well-rounded look at the world of money and business. Three of the rooms cover the entire history of the Bank of England, from the day it was founded in 1694 right up to the present-day economy. The historical display covers everything from the building’s architecture, to facts and figures of starting up the UK’s banking system. There's a lot of information to take in, but through the bright and clear displays with lots of artefacts and photographs on show, it's both engaging and educational.
The other two permanent showrooms are the Bank Stock Office and the Banknote Gallery. Younger children will especially love these two areas as they're both fun and interactive. The Bank Stock Office is in the heart of the museum, and it is an exact replica of what the inside of the Bank of England would have looked like around 200 years ago. Have a go of the 'Keeping on an even keel' interactive game to get a feel of how to maintain monetary value through obstacles like inflation and time. The Banknote Gallery will be of particular interest to those who love art and design history. Here the display takes visitors through the development of money and the design of the banknotes we use today. A particular highlight is the chance to try and lift a real gold bar and passing through the golden corridor.
Keep an eye out for the engaging temporary exhibitions that take place throughout the year at the Bank of England Museum. Covering subjects like Exploring London, the 325th anniversary of the Bank and more! It’s refreshing to get a modern take on the vintage artefacts and important history shown in the museum, and there's always something exciting happening here.
To make the most of your visit to the Bank of England Museum, why not book a seat in one of the interesting lectures? Free of charge and covering a range of subjects these presentations are a great way to engage with the subject matter of the museum and ask any questions you may have to the knowledgeable staff. These talks cater to people of all ages, from the Pounds and Pence talk aimed at KS2 students to the hour-long presentation about the general history of the Bank, there is so much to learn. These talks really bring the exhibitions to life and come highly recommended by a lot of visitors to the museum.
What to know before you go
- The Bank of England is open Monday to Friday from 10am - 5pm.
- All presentations are free of charge, however it is required that visitors book a place in advance as they are quite popular and seats fill up quickly.
- There are no food vendors on site, and eating and drinking is strictly prohibited within the museum. However, there are many cafés and restaurants open within the area, particularly popular grab-and-go options like EAT and Pret a Manger.
- There is a small gift shop on site where visitors can pick up some unique souvenirs.
- There are toilets, including wheelchair-accessible toilets, and baby-changing facilities available for visitors on site.
- The Bank of England Museum is wheelchair accessible. The Museum requests that wheelchair users enter the premises on Threadneedle Street so the staff can assist you up the lift. There are stairs within the museum but a portable ramp can be organised upon request.
- Audio descriptions, ear defenders and induction loops are all available at the museum for visitors who may need to use them.
- The closest station is Bank (Central, Northern and Waterloo and City lines and the DLR), which is interlinked with nearby Monument station (District and Circle lines).
- The nearest rail stations are Liverpool Street, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street all within a 10-minute walk.
- Bus routes 8, 11, 21, 23, 25, 26, 43, 76, 133, 141, 242 and 388 all have stops near the museum.
- As the Bank of England Museum is so centrally located, it does not have a designated parking area and can be difficult for visitors to find parking in the surrounding streets.